Dell widens channel for federal partners

Dell Inc. is expanding its PartnerDirect program to include a certification path for its channel partners in the federal market.

Dell announced its decision to formalize its relationships with its channel partners in May 2007. "We're very much in the early stages of what we can do with our partnering relationships," said Greg Davis, vice president and general manager of Dell's Americas Channel Group.

PartnerDirect was launched in December 2007. The new certification program announced this week includes extra benefits for value-added resellers who invest in building their Dell-related business and hold a letter of supply to sell Dell products on the General Services Administration schedule.

To become a certified member of Dell's federal PartnerDirect program, a company must have at least one governmentwide acquisition contract and employees with security clearances.

"We want to ensure that as a certified federal partner in federal you're committed, you've got the training and resources; you've got contracts in place. You know how to sell into the [federal] space and you follow our compliance, which we're held accountable for to the federal government," Davis said.

The program's framework is something the company intends to roll out for Dell partners around the world, Davis said.

Dell works with 95 percent of federal agencies, said Troy West, general manager and vice president at Dell. West has assumed some of the duties of Jim Duffey, formerly vice president and general manager of Dell's Public Business Group, who left the company in June.

"We're now formalizing our program with a certification path underneath Dell's PartnerDirect program," West said.

Dell will support its certified federal partners with assigned account executives, working capital, terms for registration, lines of credit and the same product-based training the company provides to its own technicians.

Davis said the program will support Dell's goal to grow its channel business twice as fast as its core hardware sector. He said Dell has a $12 billion global channel run rate this year.

Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, ranks No. 15 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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